Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart addressed why we do not want to see photos from H-P events in a response to a question in last week’s creativeLIVE video chat (join us Tuesdays at 11am ET). We thought we’d recap it here.

There are two primary reasons for this:

  1. We want to respect the privacy of people we’re shooting. Some people may not want their photos published on the internet or in a media outlet. Being identified with this event may imply that they are in need or not in a good place, and some people may not appreciate the association.
  2. The goal of a Help-Portrait event is to give photos. We want the focus to be on the people receiving them, not on the photographer. This isn’t about free photography and it isn’t about building a photographer’s portfolio. It’s not about skills or art. It’s not about good lighting or Photoshop. It’s not about us. It’s simply about giving back.

For these reasons we drew a line from the very beginning that we do not want to make it a practice to share the photos that come from this event.

But here’s the problem, as Jeremy shared on the simulcast (see the archive of the chat). For three weeks after the event last year, people were emailing Help-Portrait their personal stories. Franky, it’s mind-blowing what happens at these events. Simply phenomenal. As a team we would love to show the photos and share the stories.

So we understand there are amazing stories happening at these events, and that amazing photos come out of them. With that in mind, if the subject is absolutely okay and in favor of their photo being shared, ask them to sign a model release form (a sample is available on our downloads page). Cover your bases. Then, by all means, share it appropriately.

If the story is powerful and if it helps get the Help-Portrait story about there, we are all for it.